Rob Dauster

NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 13:  Yante Maten #1 of the Georgia Bulldogs shoots the ball against the South Carolina Gamecocks during the quarterfinals of the SEC Basketball Tournament at Bridgestone Arena on March 13, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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Georgia’s Yante Maten leaves loss to No. 13 Kentucky with knee injury

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Playing what may be their most important game of the season, Georgia suffered a brutal blow less than two minutes into the game.

Kentucky guard Isaiah Briscoe stumbled after scoring on a drive to the rim and fell into the right knee of Georgia’s star center Yante Maten.

Maten, a 6-foot-8 junior averaging 19.4 points this season, did not return to the game.

This is a brutal loss for the Bulldogs, who needed to beat the No. 13 Wildcats to have a realistic chance of earning an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament, but for the sixth time this season, Georgia lost a hard-fought game to a top 25 team.

The final score on Saturday was 82-77 despite Georgia’s star point guard J.J. Frazier going for 36 points. De’Aaron Fox scored 12 of his 16 points down the stretch to help the Wildcats land a come-from-behind win in a game that, frankly, they did not play well enough to win.

That’s the sign of a good team, but that probably won’t be much comfort for Kentucky fans that are tired of seeing their team struggle. Fox finished with 16 points, five boards and five assists while Malik Monk chipped in with 16 points.

The win does keep the Wildcats atop the SEC standings.

No. 1 Gonzaga remains undefeated with 20th straight double-figure win

SPOKANE, WA - DECEMBER 10:  Przemek Karnowski #24 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs moves toward the basket against defender Isiah Johnson #23 of the Akron Zips in the second half at McCarthey Athletic Center on December 10, 2016 in Spokane, Washington.  Gonzaga defeated Akron 61-43.  (Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images)
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SPOKANE, Wash. — Nigel Williams-Goss had 18 points and seven assists as No. 1 Gonzaga beat Pacific 82-61 on Saturday to remain the only undefeated team in Division I.

Johnathan Williams had 12 points and 11 rebounds, and five players scored in double figures for Gonzaga (28-0, 16-0 West Coast), whose 28-game winning streak is the longest in the nation. The Zags have two games left in their quest to become the first team since Kentucky in 2014-15 to finish the regular season undefeated.

Jack Williams scored 16 points for Pacific (10-19, 4-12), which played Gonzaga tough at home on New Year’s Eve. Pacific played without second-leading scorer T.J. Wallace, out with a foot injury.

Pacific was undone by 33.8 percent shooting, compared to 46 percent for Gonzaga, and a poor rebounding performance.

Neither team shot well in the early going, and Gonzaga held a 21-18 lead midway through the first half.

The Zags closed out the half with a 22-12 run, the last eight points by Williams-Goss, to take a 43-30 lead.

Gonzaga opened the second half with a 10-3 run to extend its lead to 20 points. The lead later grew to 70-43 and the Tigers did not threaten again.

BIG PICTURE

Pacific: The Tigers led Gonzaga 46-45 at home on Dec. 31 before the Bulldogs pulled away for a 20-point victory. It was the only WCC game this season in which Gonzaga has trailed in the second half. Pacific is 1-11 in the series against Gonzaga, winning in 1976.

Gonzaga: Gonzaga is off to the best start in program history, and has won 20 straight games by double digits. They have seven wins against teams that are in the top 50 in RPI. The Bulldogs have trailed less than 7 percent of the time in their games this season, and only twice in the second half.

UP NEXT

Pacific plays Santa Clara next Thursday.

Gonzaga plays at San Diego next Thursday, and closes the regular season by hosting BYU next Saturday.

Brooks has 23 and No. 7 Oregon routs Colorado

SPOKANE, WA - MARCH 20:  Tyler Dorsey #5 of the Oregon Ducks shoots a jump shot against the Saint Joseph's Hawks in the second half during the second round of the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena on March 20, 2016 in Spokane, Washington.  (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
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EUGENE, Ore. (AP) Dillon Brooks scored 23 points and No. 7 Oregon extracted some revenge for Colorado’s upset of the Ducks earlier this season with a 101-73 victory on Saturday.

Dylan Ennis added 20 points for the Ducks (24-4, 13-2 Pac-12), who won their 42nd straight home game. It is the longest active home winning streak in the nation.

George King led Colorado (16-12, 6-9) with 16 points in the loss, which snapped a three-game winning streak. The Buffaloes trailed by as many as 36 points late in the second half.

It was the final home game of the season for Oregon, which travels to play California and Stanford before visiting in-state rival Oregon State in Corvallis for the regular-season finale.

The Ducks sit behind only fifth-ranked Arizona in the Pac-12 standings with three games to go. The Wildcats’ one conference loss came to the Ducks in Eugene earlier this month.

With the win, Oregon matched the program’s mark for the best overall record at this point of the season, set by the 1926-27 Ducks (24-3).

The Buffaloes are one of just two Pac-12 teams to defeat the Ducks this season, a 74-65 victory in Boulder on Jan. 28. Oregon’s other loss in conference came at UCLA, 79-82, on Feb. 9.

The Buffaloes had won six of their previous seven games after they opened the conference slate with a seven-game losing streak.

Oregon opened the game with three straight 3-pointers and Jordan Bell’s windmill dunk. Oregon made five-3-pointers in a little more than 5 minutes to open the game, but the Buffaloes stayed close and tied the game at 23 midway through the first half on Xavier Johnson’s layup. The Buffs went ahead on two free throws from Deleon Brown.

Colorado’s lead was short-lived. Ennis hit a 3-pointer, layup and jumper that put the Ducks up 35-27 and Oregon went into the half with a 45-32 lead. The Buffaloes didn’t score for the last 3:57 of the half.

Brooks led all scorers at the break with 16 points.

Bell’s tip-in pushed the Ducks’ lead to 55-34. Oregon opened the second half on a 19-2 run and put the game away.

Boucher, a senior playing in his final game at Matthew Knight Arena, got a standing ovation when he fouled out with 7:48 left. He finished with 18 points and seven rebounds.

It was Oregon’s seventh sellout this season.

BIG PICTURE

Colorado: The Buffaloes started the day seventh in the Pac-12 standings. … A 60-52 victory over Oregon State on Thursday was Colorado’s second on the road this season. … The Buffaloes finish the season with three straight at home: Utah, Stanford and California.

Oregon: The Ducks are one win away from matching the Pacific Coast Conference record of the 1938-39 NCAA championship-winning Oregon team. … The Oregon band played the Canadian national anthem before tipoff in honor of the Canadian seniors on the team: Ennis and Boucher. … The Ducks were coming off a 79-61 win over Utah on Thursday.

UP NEXT

Colorado: The Buffaloes return home to host Utah on Thursday night.

Oregon: The Ducks visit California on Wednesday.

More AP college basketball: http://www.collegebasketball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

No. 15 Florida beats Mississippi State in first game without Egbunu

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 06:  Chris Chiozza #11 of the Florida Gators dribbles up court against the Duke Blue Devils in the first half during the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden on December 6, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
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STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) Florida is a team that has occasionally put up huge offensive numbers this season, including 106 and 114 points in games over the past month.

But the shots weren’t falling on Saturday.

So the 15th-ranked Gators resorted to Plan B: A little grit, a little luck and a whole lot of defense in a 57-52 victory over Mississippi State.

“We’ve been able to find different ways to win different games,” Florida coach Mike White said. “It’s been different guys night in and night out and this is just another example.”

Florida (22-5, 12-2 Southeastern Conference) extended its winning streak to eight games, which is the longest during White’s two-year tenure. The Gators also won their first game since starting center John Egbunu suffered a season-ending knee injury.

Chris Chiozza scored 14 points and KeVaughn Allen added 11. Sophomore forward Kevarrius Hayes – who now has an expanded role because of Egbunu’s injury – finished with nine points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots.

Hayes had a crucial block during the final minute when Mississippi State was trying to push ahead. Chiozza said the Gators might be known for offense, but are more than capable of handling defensive showdowns.

“You just have to want to do it,” Chiozza said. “We’ve got good athletes, size and speed. So we just fly around and communicate.”

Florida was also fortunate that Mississippi State had one of its worst offensive games of the season. The Bulldogs (14-12, 5-9) trailed for most of the game, but Aric Holman threw down a dunk with 2:23 remaining to tie it at 52.

Mississippi State had multiple chances to tie or take the lead, but couldn’t hit shots in the crucial final minute. The Bulldogs finished 2 of 23 (8.7 percent) from 3-point range, including 0 of 13 in the first half. Several of the shots were wide open, but nobody could convert.

“It’s tough to continue to be right there, but not be able to get it over the hump,” Mississippi State coach Ben Howland said.

Quinndary Weatherspoon led Mississippi State with 17 points, but was just 1 of 8 from 3-point range. The Bulldogs have lost eight of their past 10 games.

“We were getting good looks,” Weatherspoon said. “We just weren’t hitting them.”

BIG PICTURE

Florida: It’s a solid win for the Gators, who are still figuring out their rotation after the loss of Egbunu. Hayes was excellent, providing the constant rim protection that Florida will need if it wants to make a deep NCAA Tournament run.

Mississippi State: The late-season slide continues for the Bulldogs, who started three freshmen on Saturday. Mississippi State continues to show signs of promise, but a tough game from 3-point range kept the Bulldogs from pulling off the upset.

OFF NIGHT FOR BERRY

Florida’s leading scorer Canyon Barry was held to just seven points on Saturday. Berry limped off the court late in the game and didn’t return. White didn’t believe the injury was serious, saying Barry had a “rolled ankle” but wanted to go back in the game.

TOO MANY TURNOVERS

Florida had 16 turnovers Saturday, which was one off a season high. White said his team was trying too hard to generate offense when the shots weren’t falling early.

“You can see why the pressing and forcing, trying to do a little too much, could creep in,” White said. “But we’ve got to avoid that in the future.”

UP NEXT

Florida: The Gators return home to face No. 21 South Carolina on Tuesday.

Mississippi State: The Bulldogs host rival Mississippi on Tuesday.

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More AP college basketball: http://www.collegebasketball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25 .

Carter scores 24, No. 9 WVU beats Texas Tech 83-74 in 2 OTs

MORGANTOWN, WV - JANUARY 24:  Jevon Carter #2 of the West Virginia Mountaineers reacts during a timeout in the second half during the game against the Kansas Jayhawks at WVU Coliseum on January 24, 2017 in Morgantown, West Virginia. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) West Virginia’s Jevon Carter and Tarik Phillip weren’t in the mood for another debilitating loss after the Mountaineers let a late lead slip away at the end of regulation for the second straight game.

Carter scored the go-ahead basket in the second overtime, and Phillip had six of his 15 points after regulation to help No. 9 West Virginia beat Texas Tech 83-74 on Saturday.

Unlike an overtime loss at No. 3 Kansas on Monday after the Mountaineers blew a big lead, West Virginia got the momentum back with some help from Texas Tech, which went scoreless for more than 4 minutes spanning both overtimes.

“We’ve been in this position all year,” said Carter, who finished with a season-high 24 points. “All of our losses have been close games. We just kept going after them. We just kept attacking.”

West Virginia (21-6, 9-5 Big 12) outscored Texas Tech 13-4 in the second overtime.

“We just weren’t going to let this game slip away,” Phillip said. “It was a matter of getting stops. We got stops when we needed them.”

Texas Tech (17-10, 5-9) went cold from the field in both overtimes and wasted solid efforts from Keenan Evans and Niem Stevenson.

Evans tied a career high with 28 points and Stevenson added 17, although he went scoreless after halftime.

Texas Tech came from seven points down to send the game into overtime tied at 64. Evans scored nine points in the final 1:11, including a 3-pointer with 4.6 seconds left. He then made four free throws in overtime, but Carter’s free throw with 19.9 seconds left sent the game into the second overtime.

BIG PICTURE

Texas Tech: The Red Raiders had a chance to cap off a huge week after beating No. 4 Baylor on Monday. Instead, Texas Tech still doesn’t have a road win over a ranked team to impress the NCAA Tournament selection committee. The Red Raiders slipped to 1-7 in road contests.

“Whether we do our part and have a resume worthy is yet to be determined, but you guys saw it,” Texas Tech coach Chris Beard said. “We have a good team.”

West Virginia: The Mountaineers won their first overtime game in four tries this season. They blew a 14-point lead in the final 3 minutes of regulation before losing in overtime at Kansas. This win has to give them a small sense of relief.

KEY STRETCH

Carter alertly threaded the Texas Tech defense for a layup 5 seconds into the second overtime and West Virginia led the rest of the way. Daxter Miles Jr. then got the sellout crowd roaring when he scored on a wild tip-in, and a minute later he dunked off a miss by Nathan Adrian.

MACON THE DIFFERENCE

West Virginia outrebounded Texas Tech 43-30, due in large part to Elijah Macon. Macon had a season-high 17 points and a career-high 12 rebounds for his first double-double of the season.

“He’s the difference maker,” Beard said. “We got pounded on the boards tonight and I think he was the lead person in that effort for them. He’s another one of Coach Huggins’ really aggressive, hard-playing guys that fits their mold. We had a lot of respect for him coming into the game and even more now.”

Bob Huggins said, “That’s the Elijah Macon that everybody thought we recruited.”

UNFRIENDLY OVERTIME

Texas Tech shot 58 percent (25 of 41) from the field in regulation, then shot 13 percent (2 of 15) in the two overtimes.

FOUL DIFFERENTIAL

After getting outscored badly from the free throw line in its two previous games, West Virginia outscored Texas Tech 24-13 from the line. West Virginia was called for 19 fouls against the Red Raiders, compared with 31 against Kansas on Monday and 30 against Kansas State a week ago.

UP NEXT:

Texas Tech hosts Iowa State on Monday

West Virginia hosts Texas on Monday.

More AP college basketball: http://www.collegebasketball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

No. 3 Kansas upends No. 4 Baylor

WACO, TX - FEBRUARY 18: Jake Lindsey #3 of the Baylor Bears drives toward the basket as Landen Lucas #33 of the Kansas Jayhawks and Devonte' Graham #4 of the Kansas Jayhawks defend in the first half at the Ferrell Center on February 18, 2017 in Waco, Texas. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
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Landen Lucas hit two free throws with 11.5 seconds left to cap a game-ending, 8-0 run as No. 3 Kansas all-but clinched the outright Big 12 regular season title in Waco on Saturday, winning 67-65.

Frank Mason III played one of his best games of the season, finishing with 23 points and eight assists, consistently getting to the foul line on an afternoon where the rest of the Jayhawks roster wasn’t scoring the ball all that effectively. He was 7-for-12 from the floor and 8-for-8 from the charity stripe.

Johnathan Motley had 19 points, nine boards and four assists for the Bears, but he finished just 8-for-21 from the floor with six turnovers. Lucas, who had eight points, eight boards (seven offensive) and three blocks on the afternoon while playing 31 minutes with four fouls, did an excellent job of keeping the Baylor all-american in check.

With the win, Kansas moved three full games in front of Baylor for first place in the Big 12 with four games remaining, meaning that the Jayhawks have all-but locked up their 13th straight Big 12 regular season title.

Here are

1. If Baylor can’t beat Kansas at home, just how worried should we be about the Jayhawk front line?: I’m not sure there is a title contender that relies on more heavily on pounding the rock into the big boys on their front line more than Baylor does. Wisconsin might. Maybe Purdue, as well. Ethan Happ and Caleb Swanigan are Player of the Year candidates and they are decidedly low-post threats, but Baylor is right there in that conversation.

There’s a reason that Motley is Baylor’s all-american candidate. That’s who Scott wants to get the ball to, and we saw it on Saturday. He took 21 shots, he had four assists and he had six turnovers. Factoring in offensive rebounds and free throws, that’s roughly 30 of Baylor’s 65 possessions, or 46.2 percent, that Motley had a hand in.

In theory, that would be a bad sign for Kansas, right? We all know the issue with this team: Lucas is the only big man on the roster that is ready for the level of basketball that we saw on Saturday. Carlton Bragg Jr. may be, but playing him at the five, totally out of position, has hurt his confidence enough as it is. Dwight Coleby may or may not actually be healthy. Mitch Lightfoot is young. Udoka Azubuike’s season is over. And yet, it was Lucas who was the most impressive big man on the floor. His ability to wall up and defend without fouling while also getting to the offensive glass – again, without fouling – is the difference between Kansas being good and Kansas being disappointing.

Which brings me back to the initial point: If Kansas isn’t affected by their lack on interior depth playing on the road against a top five team, when are they going to be affected by their lack of interior depth?

Yes, I know, Kansas is one sprained ankle or a couple of bad whistles away from being without Lucas, but it’s not like you can plan for that. They’re probably screwed if Mason or Josh Jackson sprains an ankle in the tournament just like UCLA is screwed if Lonzo Ball twists an ankle and Kentucky is screwed if Malik Monk fouls out of a game with 10 minutes left.

As far as the things that you can plan for, Kansas looks better than fine.

2. Kansas is the most battle-tested team in America: The Jayhawks have won 12 games in the Big 12. Nine of them are by seven points or less. Seven are by five points or less. They came from 14 points down in the final three minutes to beat West Virginia. They won at Baylor in a game they trailed by 12. They beat Kentucky on the road by six points. They beat Duke by two. They lost to Indiana in overtime.

Some of that is luck – Svi’s travel against Kansas State, the legal illegal screen at Texas Tech – but a lot of it is some combination of talent, mental toughness and Bill Self. The bottom-line is this: No one will be more prepared to handle a close game in March than Kansas because no one has been through more this season than the Jayhawks.

3. Turnovers, transition defense killed Baylor: That’s where this game was lost. The Bears were up by 12 late in the first half and had control of the game early in the second half, but six turnovers in the first ten minutes of the second half helped turn things around. At one point, Kansas went on an 11-0 run to turn a six-point deficit into a five-point lead, and that run was almost entirely a result of the Kansas transition game.

Turnovers have been an issue for this team all season long, which is what happens when your starting point guard is a converted shooting guard. On the season, Baylor ranks 287th nationally in turnover percentage, and on Saturday, they turned the ball over on 16 of their 65 possessions, just under 25 percent.

4. Scott Drew probably got the last play wrong, which is why people make ‘Scott Drew can’t coach’ jokes: I don’t know what was drawn up on the final possession by Baylor. I wasn’t in the huddle. What I do know, however, is that after Drew called a timeout with 8.5 seconds left to draw up a play, the ball ended up in Manu Lecomte’s hands.

Lecomte has been one of the more clutch players in the country this season, but today was different because Lecomte had hurt his leg earlier in the game and did not have much burst. He was limping around on defense and sent two jumpers careening off the back board earlier in the half. The final possession of the game ended up with Lecomte taking an off-balance 18-footer between two Kansas defenders, a shot that never really had a chance.

It’s plays like that that get people making jokes about Drew and his ability to coach, which isn’t entirely fair. Everyone gets it wrong from time to time, especially when Bill Self is the man on the other sideline, and it doesn’t take into account the fact that the Jayhawk defense took Baylor out of what they wanted to do. He’s a favorite for National Coach of the Year, but people still make those same, played out, can’t coach jokes. If you’re wondering why, there you go.

5. 13 straight Big 12 titles: It’s not officially official yet, but it’s done.

13 straight.

There are going to be kids heading to high school next year that have never known a world where Kansas hasn’t won the Big 12 regular season title.